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One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer

Book - 2010
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Grades 4-7.
In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
Publisher: New York, NY : Amistad, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060760892
Characteristics: 218 p. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

Kids. "The story of three girls who go to Oakland, California, to meet their estranged mother and become involved in the civil rights movement in the late 1960s."

Recommended by Julie. For ages 9 and up.

From the critics

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Dec 07, 2020

Reading this book as a child opened my eyes to what it might have been like if I were a black girl living during the civil rights movement. To realize that there were so many problems the world had with skin color. Their mom had abandoned them, and when they arrived to see her, her personality was distant, flippant, and uninterested. They didn't really understand her way of living. When they started going to black panther day camps they also felt like they didn't know what was going on. But really, their mom introduced them to a life of never being quiet towards oppressors and to stand up for the liberation of their people.

JCLChrisK Oct 11, 2020

A very human story of three sisters thriving in some pretty extraordinary circumstances.

Jul 16, 2020

Rita Williams-Garcia wrote One Crazy Summer in 2010 about three sisters - Delphine an eleven-year-old and her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. The sisters live in New York with there Dan and grand mother and this summer the three children are flying to Oakland, California to spend a month with there mom who hasn’t seen them in years. Their mother is not happy about the girls coming. Yet, they come and find a way to navigate this ‘crazy summer’. The book touches on some of the political and social realities of 1968.
Williams-Garcia is an accomplished writer.

Oct 04, 2019

This book is so funny! I love the girls' attitudes and sassiness. Especially Vonetta's. This was an intriguing plot and I wish I hadn't read it so I can read it again!!

teal_librarian Jun 24, 2019

One of the kids in the Society of Bookworms book club recommended this book to me and I’m so glad she did! Even though it takes place in the past, it really resonates with what is happening now. #PACT2019

Apr 20, 2019

An engaging, readable, award-winning book. I think it could be a very good choice for family and classroom discussions. The author takes us back to the 1960's; among the actors of the time were the Black Panthers. (I remember those times well.) The importance of responsibilities for family vs. responsibilities for social action is a key element of the story.

LPL_VanessaR Mar 01, 2019

Have you ever been graced with the Oakland sun? Well, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern don’t feel much of the warmth when they arrive at their mother’s home. A self-proclaimed poet, Cecile, who never wanted much to do with motherhood, sends them to the People’s Center, a Black Panther Day camp. There they learn a lot more about themselves, their mother, and about the good deeds the party does for their community. Set in the 1960s, during the Civil Rights era, you will discover complicated family history and ways that the Black Panther Party united it’s community while teaching young and old to stand up for their rights. Plus, the sisters will keep you flipping each page, with their wit, humor, and sisterly banter.

OPL_MichelleC Feb 27, 2019

This book blew me away. Told from the perspective of the oldest sisters, this is the story of three sisters spending the summer with their estranged mother. The sisters attend a Black Panther day camp and learn about their rights, their bond as sisters, who their mother is, and the power of their own voices. I HIGHLY recommend.

Dec 04, 2017

You might want to wear some flowers in your hair, because this book will take you to San Francisco, 1968! The book is peopled with Black Panthers, hippies, and poets of the revolution. But it's not so much a book about history as it is a book about three sisters having a summer adventure, meeting new friends, and forging a relationship with the mother who abandoned them several years earlier. I recommend this book for tweens, teens, and adults--everyone will get something out of it. It's especially good for poetry-lovers, since poetry plays an important part in the story.

Jun 21, 2016

This was a really good book! I thought the author did an excellent job of balancing the historical fiction aspect with the personal life of the main character, Delphine.

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OPL_KrisC Apr 10, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Oct 04, 2019

mauve_cockroach_34 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Apr 23, 2019

violet_fox_432 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

orange_cat_2242 Jul 18, 2013

orange_cat_2242 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 10, 2013

jrmccowan thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

blue_dog_52954 Aug 22, 2012

blue_dog_52954 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

white_butterfly_199 Jul 22, 2012

white_butterfly_199 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

blue_ant_872 Jul 19, 2012

blue_ant_872 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

white_butterfly_162 Jun 25, 2012

white_butterfly_162 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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red_bird_934 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Quote
Jul 20, 2020

"We all have our la-la-la song. The thing we do when the world isn't singing a nice tune to us. We sing our own nice tune to drown out ugly."

Jun 21, 2016

“It was a strange, wonderful feeling. To discover eyes upon you when you expected no one to notice you at all.”

Feb 10, 2013

Cecile looked at us, then at the stewardess. I’m Cecile Johnson. These are mine.” “Cecile’s face had no expression.”


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BarSeeg May 23, 2013

It's been one crazy summer with the mother they hardly even know. Three kids venture to California and met their mom who just happens to be involved in the often violent Black Panthers Movement of the 1960s. How's that for a summer vacation to remember.

Feb 10, 2013

Eleven year old Delphine, and her two younger sisters Vonetta, and Fern were sent from Brooklyn to California to see someone who left them seven years ago; their mother. When the girls arrive in Oakland, California, they realize the women the mother they were so anxious to see wants nothing to do with them for the summer, and sends them off to a day camp sponsored by the Black Panthers. The girls want nothing more than to be loved by someone who walked out on them. Though this book takes place in one of the most horrible times in history this story will gives you some laughs, and cries.


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